People are investing millions into League of Legends franchises. Will the bet pay off?

People are investing millions into League of Legends franchises. Will the bet pay off?

By: Miles Yim 

From the moment he was appointed Dignitas CEO in 2018, Michael Prindiville made rejoining the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) his top priority. Dignitas helped found the game’s North American professional league six years ago, but the team was denied a seat at the table when the LCS turned to a franchise model in 2017. Now, after negotiating a merger with Clutch Gaming that reportedly cost $20 million, Dignitas is back at the forefront of the world’s most popular esport.

“[League] is showing no signs of slowing down,” Prindiville said. “l think it’s by far the most sustainable esport in North America, if not the globe. We really wanted to be a part of that, secure that franchise going forward. It’s a game we believe in.”

Dignitas is not alone in its zeal for League of Legends, a game that peaks at roughly 8 million concurrent players every day around the globe, according to publisher Riot Games. In 2020, two other previously scorned esports outfits will re-enter the LCS. Immortals Gaming Club purchased Infinite Esports & Entertainment and gained control of OpTic Gaming’s LCS slot, while Evil Geniuses bought Echo Fox’s recently vacated spot at auction. That spot cost Evil Geniuses $33 million, according to a person familiar with the sale terms.

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